Hartford, CT – Attorney General William Tong has asked the court overseeing the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy to extend the deadline for filing claims against the company, so that people do not lose their rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The brief, filed last night in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, was submitted by attorneys general from 25 states looking to extend the deadline to September 30. The brief supports recovery organizations that have asked the Court for extra time for families to navigate the claims process against Purdue for the harms caused by its drugs.
“Each and every person Purdue harmed must have a full opportunity to file a claim and seek justice,” said Attorney General Tong. “Purdue’s reckless pursuit of profits ignited a nationwide public health crisis, destroying the lives of thousands of Connecticut families. Now, we face a second, simultaneous public health crisis with COVID-19. We urge the bankruptcy court to extend the deadline for filing claims against Purdue in light of the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19.”
In addition to the brief filed by the attorneys general, letters asking the Court to extend the deadline have been filed by:
- Harrison Cullen, Researcher and Member of Prescription Addiction Intervention Now;
- Joanne Peterson, Founder and Executive Director of Learn to Cope and witness at Purdue’s criminal sentencing in 2007;
- Dr. Stephen Gelfand, Founding Member of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing;
- Edward Bisch, witness at Purdue’s criminal sentencing in 2007;
- Barbara Van Rooyan, witness at Purdue’s criminal sentencing in 2007;
- Cynthia Munger, parent advocate;
- Dan Schneider, the pharmacist of the Netflix docuseries The Pharmacist;
- Ed Vanicky, witness at Purdue’s criminal sentencing in 2007; and
- Maryanne Frangules, Executive Director of MOAR
Connecticut first sued Purdue in December 2018, alleging that the company peddled a series of falsehoods to push patients toward its opioids, reaping massive profits from sales which addiction skyrocketed across Connecticut and the nation. In April 2019, Connecticut filed an expanded, amended lawsuit against Purdue, members of the Sackler family, former members of Purdue’s Board of Directors and corporate executives, and Sackler-controlled companies alleging fraudulent transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers to evade liability and accountability to Connecticut victims of the opioid epidemic.
Dozens of other attorneys general have also sued the Sacklers, and Purdue filed for bankruptcy in September 2019. As part of the bankruptcy, Purdue Pharma has given notice to file all claims by June 30, 2020.
The brief to extend the deadline was joined by California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.